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Communication and the Origins of International Order


  • Date Published: December 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107049161

£ 74.99

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About the Authors
  • How do adversaries communicate? How do diplomatic encounters shape international orders and determine whether states go to war? Diplomacy, from alliance politics to nuclear brinkmanship, almost always operates through a few forms of signaling: choosing the scope of demands on another state, risking a breach in relations, encouraging a protégé, staking one's reputation, or making a diplomatic approach all convey specific sorts of information. Through rich history and analyses of diplomatic network data from the Confidential Print of the British Empire, Trager demonstrates the lasting effects that diplomatic encounters have on international affairs. The Concert of Europe, the perceptions of existential threat that formed before the World Wars, the reduction in Cold War tensions known as détente, and the institutional structure of the current world order were all products of inferences about intentions drawn from the statements of individuals represented as the will of states. Diplomacy explains how closed-door conversations create stable orders and violent wars.

    • Describes how a few forms of signaling explain the wealth of inferences that states draw from diplomatic exchanges outside public view, and will appeal to those who want to understand the strategic dynamics of interstate interaction
    • Relates diplomatic encounters to the formation of international orders and will appeal to students of world order
    • Analyzes diplomatic documents contained in the Confidential Print of the British Empire - statistically, one of the first large-scale attempts to do so; this enables us to see not just how states could draw inferences, but how leaders and diplomats actually develop perceptions of the likely future behaviour of other actors
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107049161
    • length: 300 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 33 b/w illus. 8 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Can adversaries communicate?
    2. How perceptions of intentions form
    Part I. Theory:
    3. The scope of demands
    4. Risking a breach
    5. Balancing allies and adversaries
    6. Diplomatic approaches
    Part II. Empirical Analysis:
    7. The fruit of 1912 diplomacy
    8. How Germany weighed British resolve in 1938–9
    9. Statistical analysis of diplomatic communication
    10. Creating international orders
    Appendices: A. Proofs for chapters 3-6
    B. Inference data set
    C. Threats, offers, and assurance dataset
    D. German inferences prior to World War II.

  • Author

    Robert F. Trager, University of California, Los Angeles
    Robert F. Trager is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has also taught at Yale University, Connecticut and the University of Oxford, held an Olin Fellowship at Harvard University, Massachusetts, and worked in investment banking in New York. His published work has appeared in such journals as the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, International Organization, International Security, and Security Studies.

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